Clothing Retailer Highlights Importance of Clothing Recycling Programs
H&M will begin accepting clothing for its global recycling program beginning February 2013 at select stores in the retailer’s 48 worldwide markets.
The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), whose goal is to keep as much clothing and textile out of landfills as possible, applauds the recent announcement.
“We’re reaching a ‘critical mass’ of clothing retailers who are implementing clothing recycling programs,” says Lou Buty, president of SMART. “As the Association of clothing and textile recyclers, we are the engine that drives the economics of the clothing and textile recycling industry. We encourage everyone to ‘Donate, Recycle, Don’t Throw Away.’”
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 21 billion pounds of clothing and textiles are discarded annually in the United States alone. In its 2012 annual report, the Waste and Resources Action Program (‘WRAP’- United Kingdom) found that 75% of the people surveyed discarded clothing items because they did not know the item could be used for another purpose.
“Recycled clothing is an important industry,” said Jackie King, executive director of SMART. “Whether clothing and textiles are recycled in the programs operated by the fashion retailers, are donated to local charities, or are recycled in a municipal program, ultimately they are processed by our member companies to be re-used, recycled as wiping cloths, or re-manufactured into their basic fiber components.”
SMART member companies work with charities and municipalities to process billions of pounds of materials annually, but billions more pounds of otherwise reusable clothing are thrown away.
Other clothing recycling programs within the retail fashion industry include Levi’s partnership with Goodwill’s “Donate Movement,” the GAP’s “Recycle Your Blues” program to recycle unwanted denim products, Nike’s “Reuse Your Shoes” and Patagonia’s “Common Thread,” among others.
Denim collected in the GAP’s “Recycle Your Blues” program is re-manufactured into household insulation by a SMART member company.
“Ninety-five percent of clothing and household textiles can be recycled,” Buty said. “Even items that are ripped or torn, are stained, or are considered otherwise unwearable can be recycled, as long as the items have been laundered and are dry.”
Jobs boost at All-Tex Recyclers in Cloughmills
It’s only 12 short months since All-Tex Recyclers embarked in a strategic business decision to relocate to the village of Cloughmills and since then have grown from strength to strength.
All-Tex Recyclers are a leading textile recycling and export business and a dominant force in the Irish textile recycling market. Currently employing 120 staff All-Tex Recyclers are now in the process of investing heavily in their production whilst creating an additional 40 new jobs to help secure their position as Ireland’s market leader in textile recycling.
A business with its feet firmly on the ground, All-Tex Recyclers has taken sustainable steps to ensure their success in the market place. All-Tex Recyclers are one of the few companies within Ireland who can report sustainable growth, due in short to the business acumen of two managing directors with a commitment to evolve their business at a strategic pace.
All-Tex Recyclers have aspirations to continue to grow their company in Ireland and are lucky to report a successful team of employees who are helping to drive this forward thinking company in the right direction during the current economic downturn.
All-Tex Recyclers works with some well known charities and councils across Ireland and are now developing a vision for the future with a win win situation for all. Paula Mc Auley, Business Development Manager for All-Tex Recyclers said: ‘All-Tex Recyclers are a forward thinking company and I consider myself fortunate to be employed by a business with its feet firmly on the ground but with the vision to succeed. Our company’s investment in 40 new staff reinforces our commitment to the Borough of Ballymoney and we have the vision to continue to drive our expansion plans throughout the island of Ireland.’
All-Tex Recyclers is definitely a company on the up and I get the feeling that there may be more news to come from this company in the not to distant future.